AutismBC to launch Waiting for Assessment program

By Becs Brocken
  • [Vancouver, BC], [Thursday, October 25] –  AutismBC is pleased to announce the launch of a new program ‘Waiting for Assessment’.  The pilot workshops will take place at the Pacific Autism Family Spoke in Prince George on December 1, 2018 from 1pm – 4pm.  The workshop will provide information and support to parents and families whose children are currently on regional waitlist for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) assessment.

    Over the last 24 months, AutismBC has been monitoring provincial wait times for an ASD assessment and has seen them increase from 29 weeks in March of 2016 to the current high of 55 weeks (October 2018).

    Ahla Pearse, Program Manager at AutismBC said “evidence shows that early intervention is key for children with autism and it is frustrating that in BC families are waiting over a year to receive a diagnosis.  Having a timely assessment is a critical part of a family’s autism journey.  A diagnosis opens the door to provincial Autism funding for treatment along with greater supports in schools and in the community.”

    Our information service has seen a steady increase in calls from parents with children on wait lists feeling helpless. This program is our first step in trying to empower families during a challenging time with information and support to help them plan and prepare for the assessment and for what comes after it.”

    The program will answer questions about autism and provide advice on how families can prepare for the assessment.  The 3-hour session delivered by trained autism expert and will provide insight into what can be expected during the process and provide guidance on how to navigate life after a diagnosis regardless of whether it confirms autism.  Topics include arranging support and therapy, navigating services, sharing news with family and friends, and self-care will be a key part of this workshop.

    “AutismBC is a parent based and directed society that has worked to provide support to British Columbians affected by autism since 1975.” said Gary Robins, President AutismBC. “We are committed to improving the lives of individuals with autism, and alongside the introduction of this new program, we look forward to continuing conversation with partners across the province with the goal of reducing wait times for families.”

    Following the launch of this pilot workshop in Prince George, AutismBC will be introducing this program to communities across the province throughout 2019.  To request this workshop in your community please contact Ahla Pearse, Program Manager at apearse@autismbc.ca